Definition of jockey in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈjäkē/

noun (plural jockeys)

1A person who rides in horse races, especially as a profession.
Example sentences
  • Three of them became Irish champion jockey at various times between 1840 and 1882.
  • Champion jockeys were soon riding on the Continent and in Ireland as well.
  • Camejo is currently the meet's leading apprentice jockey with 30 races won through Tuesday.
1.1An enthusiast or participant in a specified activity: a car jockey
More example sentences
  • ‘Song of Rufus’ is the story of schizophrenic boxcar jockey Rufus, a man who follows a trail of music only he can hear.
  • But the Scobleizer is no ordinary Windows-obsessed blog jockey.
  • Jeff Markham is a simple gas jockey with a mysterious, violent past.

verb (jockeys, jockeyed)

[no object]
1Struggle by every available means to gain or achieve something: both men will be jockeying for the two top jobs
More example sentences
  • We hear endlessly this talk of a power struggle, different factions jockeying for position.
  • Hands in pockets, they stand around jostling, jockeying for place, small fights breaking out and calming.
  • Over 170,000 have voted since the poll began on Sunday 20 October and competition is intense with the ten contenders jockeying for position.
maneuver, ease, edge, work, steer;
compete, contend, vie;
1.1 [with object] Handle or manipulate (someone or something) in a skillful manner: Jason jockeyed his machine into a dive
More example sentences
  • He's diminutive enough to jockey a horse, but he's tough enough to wear down a defense.
  • It is a competition where the elite use personal connections to jockey their cronies into key positions and thus win power and influence.
  • It went down like this: In mid-January Darren was jockeying the phones at Atlantic Records on a weeklong temp assignment.



Pronunciation: /-ˌSHip/
Example sentences
  • And if the proposed Scottish academy offers a professorship of all-weather jockeyship, only one Scot should be considered for the post.
  • Even for a good cause, celebrity jockeyship doesn't bear thinking about.
  • With three such talents plus McCoy and Tony Dobbin on this side of the water, Irish jockeyship is in good health.


Late 16th century: diminutive of Jock 'ordinary man; a rustic', Scots form of the given name Jack. The word came to mean 'mounted courier', hence the current sense (late 17th century). Another early use 'horse dealer' (long a byword for dishonesty) probably gave rise to the verb sense 'manipulate', whereas the main verb sense probably relates to the behavior of jockeys maneuvering for an advantageous position during a race.

  • A pet form of the man's name Jock, a northern form of jack, jockey was originally used, rather like Jack, for any ordinary man, boy, or underling. From this came a specialized sense of a servant as a mounted courier, which in the 17th century gave rise to today's meaning. In American slang a jockey was a specific kind of worker—so a beer jockey was a barmaid, a garage jockey a garage attendant, and a typewriter jockey a typist. From there it was natural to call someone who played records a disc jockey, in the 1940s.

Words that rhyme with jockey

choccy, cocky, flocky, gnocchi, hockey, oche, pocky, rocky, schlocky, stocky

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: jock·ey

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